102 Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Deployment

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I know, I know. It’s only October. You’re still enjoying your Halloween decorations and PSLs. Me too! I’m not trying to jump the gun. If you’ve got a loved one deployed, you’re already thinking about the Christmas box you’re going to send. And you’re going to want to send it sometime in the next month to make sure it gets there– especially depending on where your loved one is.

Lots of stocking stuffer gift ideas, perfect to send for Christmas during deployment. Saving this list! #miiltary #carepackage #carepackages #stockingstuffer #stockingstuffers #militaryfamily #milfam #milspouse #militaryspouse

When John was deployed, I bought a gigantic Christmas stocking and filled it with individually wrapped small gifts. It fit comfortably in the large USPS flat-rate box– with room to spare. Of course, not everything on this list will be relevant to your loved one’s situation. Make sure when you’re buying and packing the stocking, you know what they need, can use, and are allowed to have.

So, here you go– 102 stocking stuffer ideas! Annnnnd…..GO!

From Home…

  1. Physical pictures
  2. USB drive or SD card with photos and videos
  3. Small photo album (Or try your hand at a photo-a-day journal!)
  4. Encouragement book
  5. Letters/notes
  6. Postcards from home or from places you’ve visited during the deployment
  7. Magnets from your area
  8. Keychains from your area
  9. Stickers/bumper stickers from local establishments (breweries, tourist destinations, etc.)
  10. Mug from a local gift shop
  11. Small jar of dirt from the backyard– so they always have a little bit of American soil with them
  12. Christmas ornament
  13. Small Christmas decorations
  14. Covers for electronic devices
  15. Phone cards
  16. Magnetic picture frame
  17. Coupons for when they come home (This good for a movie of your choice… etc.)

Personal Items…

  1. To-go insulated coffee mug
  2. Envelopes
  3. Journals
  4. Notebooks
  5. Writing utensils
  6. Pencil sharpeners
  7. Stationary
  8. Printed address labels (your address and theirs– they don’t have to address envelopes, they just have to stick the stickers!)
  9. Hand/feet warmers
  10. Sunglasses
  11. Gift cards
  12. Calendar (You could make your own!)
  13. Devotional
  14. Stress balls
  15. Individual packages of tissues
  16. Cologne/perfume
  17. Paracord bracelet
  18. Hair ties/hairbands
  19. Bobby pins
  20. Headbands
  21. Bandanas
  22. Gloves
  23. Hats
  24. New, clean pillowcase
  25. Single-load detergent

To Pass the Time…

  1. Batteries
  2. Tennis balls
  3. Hacky sacks
  4. DVDs (Walmart’s $5 movie bin is amazeballs!)
  5. Card games
  6. Puzzles
  7. Sudoku/Crossword/Puzzle books
  8. Book light
  9. Magazines
  10. Newspapers
  11. Cotton socks
  12. Gel insoles
  13. Nerf balls
  14. Headphones
  15. Rubik’s Cube
  16. Deck of cards
  17. Uno
  18. Phase 10
  19. Dutch Blitz
  20. Pinochle cards
  21. Kooshballs
  22. Water balloons
  23. Yo-yos
  24. Credits/gift cards for books and magazines on eReaders
  25. Credits/gift cards for Facebook games, apps, or other downloadable items

[Tweet “Love these practical ideas for stocking stuffers for deployment!”]

To Eat and Enjoy…

  1. Cake in a jar
  2. Cookies (Use a vacuum sealer, and you’re golden!)
  3. Dried fruit
  4. Granola bars (Try this recipe!)
  5. Homemade nut mixes (Try this recipe!)
  6. Gum (the kind in blister packs keep better!)
  7. Mints
  8. Hard candy like Lifesavers or Werther’s
  9. Coffee
  10. Hot chocolate mix
  11. Candy canes
  12. Little Debbie’s Christmas Trees
  13. Red and green M&Ms
  14. Tea bags
  15. Chocolate bells
  16. Pez dispensers
  17. Rice Krispies Treats
  18. Snack-sized boxes of raisins
  19. Movie candy
  20. Taffy
  21. Peanut brittle
  22. Divinity
  23. Homemade candies
  24. Marzipan
  25. Peppermint sticks
  26. Ribbon candy
  27. Hershey Kisses
  28. Candy coal
  29. Single-serving packages of cookies
  30. Mio/other liquid drink enhancer
  31. Candy coins
  32. Candy canes

10 Responses

  1. These are great ideas, Jo. I wish you had a pdf of them so I could copy it. I wasn’t able to copy and paste, either.
    Really helps. This is our first experience with sending a care package to our son who is deployed on a sub.

  2. Hi Fran! Thanks! Actually, there are PDF and print buttons at the bottom of the post– I included them a while ago for my recipes, but they will work for this post too. :-) Cheers (and happy shopping)!

  3. I think it’s totally normal to plan Christmas stocking stuffers in October! We’ve been planning Easter and Fourth of July boxes for the submarine because we have to send everything they’re going to get with them when they leave. I think it’s funny you put gel insoles on the list – my husband is always talking about how he needs to get (yet another) new pair of insoles for his boots!

  4. We pack boxes from our church and when the box is full we shake it and put small wrapped candies in the boxes. Keep shaking the boxes and you get more and more candies in it. Amazing how much more you can get into a full box

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